By BRUCE BUCkInGHAM
Jazz Chord Movement Using Common Tone, Contrary Motion,
and Chromatic Movement Techniques
The voice leading principles that are most common are:
1. common tone and/or closest tone,
2. contrary motion,
3. chromatic movement.
From Chord-Melody Guitar
The examples that follow will illustrate, but you must observe the movement of the voices and try to create your own examples to truly under-
stand and hear these principles. Please practice and memorize any that are new to you. Inversions, extensions, and alterations are also used. It
is recommended that you write the notes of each voicing on the staff in order to fully observe the voice-leading principles and to improve your
reading and note/string location abilities on the guitar. Take your time in learning these examples in order to retain them. Practice them frequent-
ly and be sure to play in all the keys that seem practical on the instrument given each particular voicing.
After learning the fingering for an example, look at the melody line written below. Make sure that you understand how each note is a chord
tone/scale tone, and that the melody is first half notes or quarter notes. Then give the melody its own rhythm by hitting the top note an eighth
note earlier or later than the rest of the chord. Also try rhythmically anticipating or delaying the entire chord, with the melody note on top, by an
eighth note or more. On the tracks, each chord is played with a quarter-note pulse.
Common Tone and Closest Tone Examples